Game installs have been growing fast over the course of this current generation. The next generation of Xbox consoles seems like it's thinking ahead on this, though.
In a new interview at IGN with Xbox's Director of Program Management Jason Ronald, he confirmed that game install sizes should be "approximately 30% smaller" on the Xbox Series S compared to the Series X. The main factor making the difference seems to be the resolution: the Series S is aiming for 1440p resolution, rather than the Series X's 4K target.
With a smaller resolution target, Ronald says the expectation for Xbox is that developers will not ship their highest fidelity images—or mipmaps—in the Series S version, so it should reduce the file size. That's not an absolute guarantee, though.
"Ultimately the controls in the developer's hands," Ronald tells IGN. "We've had this technology for a while that allows developers to intelligently choose which assets to install on which device they're playing on. So the flexibility is in the developers’ hands to make sure the right assets are there."
The Xbox Series S is arriving on Nov. 10, 2020, the same day as the more powerful Series X though about $200 cheaper. Notably, the Xbox Series S' internal storage is a 512GB SSD, rather than 1TB, so the file size concern makes sense. 512GB these days gets you about one Red Dead and one Call of Duty before you have to start playing an inventory management metagame with the scraps of remaining storage.
On the PlayStation side of things, meanwhile, Sony just had its big price point reveal yesterday for both its digital-focused and disc drive-equipped versions of the PS5. The digital PS5 edition will run $399.99, while a model with a disc drive has been set at $499.99, though Sony is not making a separation in hardware power between the two models.